I have been insured with Norwich Union for several years, including home and contents insurance with no cause for complaint - until the very first time I had to make a claim!
Accident 9 Dec 2008 (I skidded on ice downhill into the back of a car waiting at a roundabout, police and ambulance attended, car recovered from scene by local garage, reported accident later that day.
10 Dec 2008, NU called garage to see if the car was there.......(in case I made a mistake, it got lost on route or what?)
No contact from NU, unable to speak to named point of contact in call centre based in India, so over next two weeks both me and my husband called daily for update. At various times we were given conflicting information, such as; the garage is not a recommended repairer; it's their fault, we have not seen photos; the garage has not provided estimate; we didn't get the estimate by fax; we didn't get the estimate by e-mail either, even though the address is correct; OK then, we will send out someone to take photos; no, sorry, as it's a total loss it will be inspected; as it's a total loss, fast track team will deal; oops, fast track team doesn't exist any more; the garage will have to send photos; we didn't get them (twice); don't call us, speak to the engineers' planning department (on an expensive 0870 number); we will inspect on 29 December 2008; oh, the garage is closed between 24 December and 2 January is it?..... don't worry, we will inspect on 29 December; Yes we are dealing, an engineer will inspect on 29 December; 29 December, 29 December, 29 December.....
My husband finally lost his patience with the call centre agent on 22 December (I gave up a week before), and to shut him up, she gave him the direct telephone number for the engineer, who was very courteous but none too pleased with their actions!
He could not believe the appalling incompetence, lack of communication and misleading information we had endured and he had only been advised of our claim a few hours before, whilst he was out of the office! Anyway, thanks to his superb intervention, we reached a settlement on 23 December and the settlement cheque arrived a week after dated 30 December, which bearing in mind we had the Christmas break and weekend too, was remarkable.